Don’t let ‘what helps with bloating’ be one of the first searches you make on your recently unwrapped tablet or smart phone — get ahead of the game with these hacks.
Christmas is a time to enjoy time with family, make the most of some of your favourite foods and watch cheesy Christmas films. So don’t let the feeling of bloating ruin your day. Before we get into it, let’s get one thing clear — bloating after a big meal is totally normal. But it can be incredibly uncomfortable which is never fun. So these are a few ways you can make that Christmas bloat a little more comfortable.
Stretch your legs
Suggest a household walk after dinner to help beat the bloating feeling. Take the dog, children, or enjoy the excuse to have a little air away from arguing in-laws by having quick solo stroll around the block.
Giving your circulation a boost with gentle exercise will help to invigorate your muscles and organs, and you’ll find you flush out those toxins and fluids much quicker than if you remain sedentary.
If the weather outside is frightful, you could always do a few strolling laps of the house, including the stairs. You could stretch your arms out wide and over your head intermittently to further encourage blood flow.
Drink plenty of water
Water helps to flush out excess toxins in the body, so though you may feel too full to drink a big glass of h2o, it will really help — especially if your dinner has been high in salt. You don’t have to down it all in one go, just sip at it as you have your stroll or watch that Christmas special on TV.
Remember that not all drinks equal healthy hydration — alcoholic and carbonated options will prolong and encourage further bloating, so go easy on the refills of bubbly if you can.
Herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint are also a good after-dinner choice, as they’re well known for their calming and soothing effects, plus may provide gas relief too.
Get on the ginger
Ginger has long been hailed as a natural digestive aid and it can really help to sooth your stomach. Chop some root ginger into inch-long pieces and soak it in boiling water to make a natural tea. If you aren’t a fan of the flavour, you could always try adding freshly cut orange or lemon for citrusy twist.
Avoid fatty foods
Okay, so this may not be popular advice, but if you’re feeling the bloat, it’s best that you try to avoid more saturated fats like a cheeseboard or chocolates.
Your body is likely to be working hard to digest all the food you’ve had at dinner, and fatty foods require extra effort to be broken down. They also move more slowly through the digestive tract, so you may actually be prolonging the time it takes for your body to feel better.
You could also have cultured yoghurt as a bit of a dessert, as this contains probiotics which can help with digestion and reduce excessive gas. Even a spoonful on the side in place of brandy cream may make a difference, so you don’t have to feel like you’re totally missing out.
However, Christmas is most definitely the time for cheese and chocolate. So when you’ve freed up a little more room after your walk, we think some cheese and crackers is more than acceptable.
Take home message
We know that Christmas is not the time for restraint, but giving your body a little help processing all the extras can definitely pay off when it comes to how you feel after the indulgence. Of course, there’s a lot to be said for the option of taking a tactical afternoon nap, too…